clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Has a team from the play-in tournament made the NBA Finals?

The Heat have made history in their run to the Finals.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 21: Jimmy Butler #22 and Gabe Vincent #2 of the Miami Heat look on against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals at Kaseya Center on May 21, 2023 in Miami, Florida.  Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are officially back in the NBA Finals, and while they are four wins away from winning a championship this squad has already set themselves apart in the history books.

The Heat stand alone in the history books after taking down the Boston Celtics 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals to become the first-ever play-in team to reach the NBA Finals. Since its inception in 2020, no play-in team had ever won a playoff series and was 0-9 overall heading into this year’s playoffs. No play-in team had even reached a Game 7 in a playoff series.

That changed this postseason, where in addition to the Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers advanced past the first round after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2. Both the Lakers and Heat would go on to advance past the second round and reach their respective conference finals.

While the Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, the Heat will play for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Miami’s run to the NBA Finals as a play-in team is even more of a feat considering the level of talent on their roster. In light of an extended injury to Tyler Herro, the Heat has been led by a combination of undrafted players in Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, and Caleb Martin to support the stellar play of Jimmy Butler (29.9 ppg in the postseason).